In September, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) polled graduates in the b-school class of 2013 and found overall success when it came to finding jobs and valuing their degrees. Here are some highlights from the Global Management Education Graduate Survey:
• 90% of 2013 graduates were employed by September. By world region, U.S. respondents fared the best with 95% employment; this is followed by 92% of Latin Americans, 87% of Indians, 85% of Asia-Pacific citizens, and 82% of Europeans. 92% of full-time, two-year MBA alumni were working at the time of the alumni poll – the highest level since the class of ’09.
• In 2009, only 84% of respondents were employed by the September following their graduation; in 2012, that figure was at 92% (slightly higher than this year).
• 74% of those queried said that they would not have gotten their jobs without their business degree.
• 15% of class of 2013 grads entered the technology sector, compared to 12% in 2009.
• 5% of 2013 alumni reported that they were entrepreneurs or self-employed.
• An eye-popping 96% of 2013 grads declared that the value of their business degree was “outstanding, excellent or good.” This is comparable to past years.
• Median full-time salary for two-year b-school grads (U.S. citizens) in 2013 was $90,000 with additional compensation/bonus of $10,000; for Indian citizens in this category, the starting salary was $34,988.
• For citizens of European countries who graduated from full-time one-year programs, the median starting salary was $101,093.
• Median part-time salaries for U.S. citizens came in at $85,000.
See the GMAC press release, “Nine Out of 10 Class of 2013 Business School Alumni Employed, Poll Finds,” for more info.
The #1 lesson from this data (and the Forbes ROI ranking) is that reports of the MBA’s demise are greatly exaggerated. There are very few initiatives, educations, or projects in life that get the kind of approval ratings and can report the kind of results that GMAC is reporting here. Now is it possible that the 915 responses are somehow positively biased? Yes, but GMAC had a healthy 19% response rate and sent questionnaires to graduates of 129 business schools including the 10% that report they are not yet employed.
For the first time, GMAC also studied entrepreneurs (5% of the class) and asked about their plans. However, the interesting entrepreneurial data from my perspective was the entrepreneur’s view of the MBA. 87% reported that “their education provided them with the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities to develop their business.” Given the small sample size (approximately 46 MBA entrepreneurs), I’m not sure this is quite as compelling as the other data, but it does give an indication that MBAs find their education valuable in an entrepreneurial setting.
Is the MBA a great investment for everyone? No. Poets & Quants recently ran an article on a new book, The MBA Bubble by Mariana Zanetti [Disclaimer: I have not read the book]. According to P&Q and the comments Zanetti posted on P&Q, she acknowledges she went to business school for the wrong reasons and now she has written a book claiming that the MBA is not worth the money and time it requires.
For some people and some business schools, she’s right. For others, she’s wrong. It’s up to you the applicants to make sure that you apply to programs that will help you achieve your professional goals with a strong likelihood of positive ROI. If you do, chances are high that you will graduate into the happy 90% of employed and the 96% of satisfied b-school grads.